If you have visited a national park, a public zoological organization, a university, a hotel, a library, or if you have access to radio advertisements, television, seen billboards or signs … you have probably run into the word, “conservation.” The term has become a buzz word for anyone from passionate environmentalists to destructive corporate businesses. The word is out and it’s everywhere! But what is this word really all about?
Conservation is an action word by definition (the act of conserving). It might seem like the organizations or businesses advertising conservation are acting upon protecting species from extinction, but we Green Monsters cannot rely on others to end our world’s sixth mass extinction … we are all in this together!
While corporations talk about conservation, to grasp the public’s moral attention and gain profits, organizations such as zoos and other “conservation” agencies appeal to public interest by focusing on repopulation efforts for endangered species protection. Although repopulation efforts may help prevent extinction for some endangered species, these animals cannot and will not continue to exist if their wild habitat is destroyed. Let’s not let this happen – find out how and why us Green Monsters need to protect wild places!
Protecting Wild Places Will Save Species
All animals need a place to call home, including humans. Sadly, many of the conveniences of our human daily lifestyles that allow us to live comfortably in our homes, are causing other species to lose theirs. Seventy-five percent of land in the United States is privately held, which means that conserving that land is difficult. As the human population continues to increase along with energy and development demands, we are pushing other species out of the way to make room for ourselves.
These concerns don’t only lie in the United States – they are everywhere across the globe. Food production, oil production, material production … it’s all contributing to environmental destruction and subsequently, species loss.
But what will happen when species continue to disappear? Well, firstly, we will eventually suffer, our own survival is very closely tied to the survival of others. While some strongly believe in the positive efforts of species repopulation efforts, ultimately, an animal in a cage does not experience a remotely similar life to an animal in their wild habitat.
We Green Monsters believe in saving sentient beings because we understand that the life of every individual (no matter how big or small) is valuable and deserves respect. But why save a species only for the animals to live their lives behind bars? If their habitat has been destroyed, where else could they possibly dwell besides a zoo or other captive situation? In such a case, what value does a species have beyond human entertainment and exploitation? We encourage you to consider this carefully.
Consider this example: if you are an ecologist attempting to determine the source of pollutants in a river, it would be quite unproductive to start your investigation at the bottom body of water, where all the water and contaminants collect. Instead, you would want to fix the area of the river where the primary dilemma is occurring, causing contaminants to flow into the river below. Likewise, instead of repopulating species, let’s protect their habitats, so that these animals may go about their natural business without us humans having to make tough moral decisions when unjustly controlling the fate of their lives.
How to Protect Wild Places to Save Species
Fortunately, there are organizations dedicated to conserving wild places. For example, the Wild Conservation Society has helped to protect over 100 wild places throughout the world since the early 1900’s. Check out these other organizations committed to wildlife habitat protection by clicking here, here, and here! You can also be inspired by reading stories of celebrity environmental role models by reading this post.
We encourage you to do all that you can to help save endangered species by saving their homes. You may do this by simultaneously making improvements in your own life.
- Eat healthier: Read about nutritious plant-based foods and how to shop for ethical product sources.
- Consume less: We don’t only mean food. Through consuming less energy, less commercialized products, less waste, etc., you are able to make a difference for animals and the planet (You might even notice you’ll feel happier).
- Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Yup, we’ve heard it all before. Do you know what to do? Yes or no, check out this post for a useful list of various items you can reuse on a daily basis to reduce your trash.
- Decrease Vehicular Transportation: Riding your bike, hopping on a public transport vehicle, sharing a ride, etc. will help with reducing oil emissions.
- Educate: Many people are unaware of species extinction and don’t realize how their actions might be harming others. Be a kind friend and gently educate people you meet on ways they can work toward reducing their harm on the environment and animals.
- Volunteer for an eco-organization: There are plenty of volunteer opportunities to help with ethical conservation efforts. Become a part of one today!
Image source: Wikimedia Commons